China 2006 Report

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Chapter 1

We have started early again this morning. Breakfast is getting plain and repetitious.

We are getting the same plain bun, Pork bun, boiled egg, hot pepper with some vegatable, and soggy rice. The only two new foods on this table is the peanuts and the lo-buck (dried vegatable) Both of these added to the watery rice well.

Today's destination is Wuxi City. It is in Jiangsu Province, on an alluvial plain delta of the Chang River. Population of over 4.4 million, with about half of it in the downtown core. Ranked third in China for economic output with the cotton, flour, silk and rice being the biggest commodities. It has 90% of the nation's silk output here. It is also one of the hottest spots of enomonic growth. High tech companies like Seagate and Sharp Electric Components have funded huge $10M US each projects. Saying as much, the average annual urban wage is under 14,000 Yuan ($2,000 Cdn) and the average annual farmer wage is only a mere 5,500 yuan ($785 Cdn).

Famous foods from Wuxi City include, Sijaoling water chestnuts, ginseng from Taihu Lake, Xuelang Gongcha Tea, Wuxi Haocha Tea, Yangxiancha Tea, Shuimitao peaches, Youmianjin (fried round frermented dough hollow insides), and Xiaoxing bean curd.

Our first stop is Taihu Lake. It is feed from the Yangtze River through canals. It leads China in the per-unit output of fresh water fish including whitebait, whitefish, and white shrimp (unique to the lake) and Huiyu fish (unique to the Yangtze River).

This is what the lake looks like from on the bus ride going there.
Entrance to the Yuan Tou Inlet.
Taihu Lake Pavillion.
Right by the water at the inlet.

Me at the inlet marker.
Lucky turtle where you throw money and if it lands on the back of the turtle you are lucky. I guess this is where those carnival games come into play.
The turtle head pennisula with the Perpetual Spring Bridge behind me.
Me in the inlet by a boat launch.

Temple of the God of Matchmaker. Note it is important that her hand touches the bottom first and that she stands on the left to match the wording.
Pavilion of Affection Couples
A wider shot of me by the thinker, the turtle head and bridge.
We are in front of Taiyo Temple of Heaven. It is place of burning incense and worship so I did not take any pictures inside it. One of the girls in our group had her bundle of incense fall apart on her while it was burning.

Worship thing at the top part of the lookout at the inlet.
Getting ready to take the ferry across the lake. The ride is short like our Seabus route, under 10 minutes to the other side.
The boat is not very big, one main deck and one sort of smaller upper deck.
A shot of the inner seating area.

A shot of the upper deck.
The traffic jam of everyone from both decks trying to leave by the same small entrance.
A long walk down the pier on Three Hills Island.
White Marble Screen Wall of the Jade Emperor Tour the Heavens.

Us by a worship tripod.
View of a junk in the lake by the long pier.
A dragonboat in dock.
The Meeting Immortal Bridge.